Forum Index > Gear Talk > Question about External Frame Packs
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 10009 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 3:33 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The recent failure of one of the shoulder straps on my pack causes me to wonder if I've got the thing assembled or adjusted improperly.
After innumerable Google searches for photos of external frame packs, perusing a couple dozen discussion threads here and on other websites, and talking briefly on the phone with a young man at Kelty, I am now more puzzled than I was before.

Where the top of the shoulder strap attaches to the horizontal tube on the pack frame, should the strap be below the tube (with the clevis pin going up through the tube and the clip ring at the top), or above the tube (with the clevis pin going down through the tube with the clip ring at the bottom)?

Here's an old Kelty I picked up for free on Craigslist and just recently gave to a young man who needed it more than myself. Note the shoulder straps are attached above the horizontal tube:

kelty_external_frame_front
kelty_external_frame_front
kelty_external_frame_back
kelty_external_frame_back

Here's another old Kelty I bought from a local couple through Craigslist a few weeks ago for $15. I've cannibalized the shoulder straps and will use them on mine. The shoulder straps were attached below the horizontal tube. Note there are three holes drilled on each side of the horizontal tube for adjusting the spacing between the shoulder straps:

kelty_external_frame_back_02
kelty_external_frame_back_02
kelty_external_frame_front_02
kelty_external_frame_front_02
kelty_external_frame_shoulder_strap_detail_02
kelty_external_frame_shoulder_strap_detail_02

Here is a "Universal Field Equipment" "Trail Boss" model that my mother purchased new in July 1969. Note that the shoulder straps do not match: they are the old shoulder straps from my "Trail Master Supreme".
Note that the straps are attached above the horizontal tube.
On its maiden voyage, a jar of fish eggs with a loose lid leaked fish egg oil all over it, and I had to completely disassemble it and scrub it several times to get the stench out. It is possible that I may have reassembled it incorrectly, but I don't recall having removed the shoulder straps at that time (45 years ago). I distinctly recall pulling the bag off the frame, because I had a hell of a time figuring out how to put the thing back together with the clevis pins and that long side wire.
Other than the shoulder straps and the padded hip belt (cannibalized from a "Camp Trails" external frame at some point) it is all original as manufactured by "Universal Field Equipment" in Riverside, California:

universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_back_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_back_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_front_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_front_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_label_01
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_label_01

And finally my own pack, a "Universal Field Equipment" "Trail Master Supreme" model my mother purchased in July 1969.
Note that the shoulder straps do not match: they are the straps from the Kelty (shown above in second set of images) and up until a couple days ago I was using the shoulder straps from the "Trail Boss" (which saw much less use and never carried as much weight as the "Trail Master Supreme".) I think I swapped the shoulder straps about 10 or 12 years ago.
This pack has seen some modifications and additions.
Originally it had an unpadded nylon webbing hip belt, the same as the "Trail Boss". The padded hip belt was cannibalized from a "Camp Trails" external frame pack at some point.
The clevis pins which hold the bottom ends of the shoulder straps wore egg-shaped holes in the vertical side tubes about 25 years ago, so I effected repair using pieces of steel bicycle seat post inserted into the bottom ends of the side tubes.
The rubber chair leg tips were added so the ends of the tubes wouldn't be damaged setting the pack down hard on gravel bars and rock surfaces.
The 3/4" wide nylon webbing straps were added to secure sleeping bag, tent, pad, and other gear.
The top extension bar was added about 25 years ago.
Note the shoulder straps are attached below the horizontal tube. Up until a couple days ago, they were attached above the horizontal tube, but after looking at hundreds of photos of external frames and noting that most of them showed the shoulder strap attached below the horizontal tube I changed them.
Note there are three holes drilled on each side of the horizontal tube for adjusting the spacing between the shoulder straps, with the shoulder straps presently attached to the center hole:

universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_back_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_back_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_front_01
universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_front_01
universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_label_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_label_02
universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_shoulder_strap_detail_01
universal_field_equipment_trail_master_supreme_shoulder_strap_detail_01

Here are the shoulder straps (originally from the "Trail Boss") that failed during my last outing. Note the brass grommet on one has been badly distorted by the head of the clevis pin:

universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_shoulder_strap_01
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_shoulder_strap_01
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_shoulder_strap_04
universal_field_equipment_trail_boss_shoulder_strap_04

I am hoping somebody might be able to give me a little help here with some things I'm finding confusing:

The young man I spoke with at Kelty told me the straps on their packs are attached above the horizontal tube, with the clevis pin going down through the tube and the clip ring at the bottom.
However, almost every photograph I've been able to find of external frame packs on Google Images or in ads recently posted locally on Craigslist show the shoulder straps attached below the horizontal tube, with the clevis pin going up through the horizontal tube and the clip ring at the top.
Would the mounting position of the shoulder strap not somewhat change the geometry of how the pack is hanging on ones back?
Is there a correct and an incorrect way, or is this a matter of personal preference and fit?

As near as I can recall, the shoulder straps on my own "Trail Master Supreme" were originally attached to the inboard-most holes on the horizontal tube. This is clearly evident from the wear marks on the tube.
About 6 or 8 years ago, I moved them to the outboard-most holes.
The green Kelty above (from which I cannibalized the shoulder straps) had the shoulder straps attached to the center holes on the horizontal tube.
As I completely disassembled the big Kelty shown above (at top) to clean it, I do not recall which of the three holes the shoulder straps were originally attached to (or whether they were attached above or below the horizontal tube.)
I think it is reasonable to assume this is a matter of personal preference and fit, to be determined by trial and error. I am yet curious as to which of the three holes the shoulder straps are attached to at the factory.

Again, I am hoping someone who is familiar with these can shed a bit of light here. Perhaps one of you owns a similar antique that is still the same as when you bought it and can check to see how yours is set up.

I can order new shoulder straps from Kelty for $15 a pair. For the time present I've cannibalized the shoulder straps from the Kelty I picked up a few weeks ago, and added a 7/32" flat washer under the head of the clevis pin which hopefully will prevent the kind of distortion to the brass grommet that can be seen in the photo above. I suppose only time will tell if that was a good idea.

Please don't derail this thread debating the merits and drawbacks of internal vs. external frames. There are already dozens of discussion threads here addressing that issue.
This pack has seen 45 years of heavy use and abuse (85+ pound loads on many occasions) and has served me well.
As Greg Lowe didn't invent the internal frame until 1967, it's doubtful any of you are going to be able to make a similar claim about your internal frame.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to your responses.

bk

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
mike
Member
Member


Joined: 09 Jul 2004
Posts: 6066 | TRs
Location: SJIsl
mike
  Top

Member
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 3:48 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I remember moving the attachment point around to get the fit right. I don't think it matters whether above or below. If above it seems like you would need a washer
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ranger Smith
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Aug 2010
Posts: 1017 | TRs
Location: Kapowsin, Wa.
Ranger Smith
  Top

Member
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 4:06 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
My Kelty is attached below with the ring at the top. My Jansport straps have a split and attach at top and bottom of the bar with the ring at the top. I picked up both at garage sales though. Maybe a pair of Jansport straps would help you out?

--------------
I'm a man, I can change, if I have to, I guess.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 10009 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 4:11 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I believe a shoulder strap is a shoulder strap is a shoulder strap, but I'm known to be wrong now and then.

I'd like to pick up the four Keltys the couple is selling on CL for $8 each, but Lynnwood is a bit far to drive.
Probably cheaper to just order a couple pairs from Kelty- I've got two packs that both need new ones now.

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Conrad
Meadow bagger



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 2280 | TRs
Location: Moscow, ID
Conrad
  Top

Meadow bagger
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 5:40 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
My Kelty Tioga's (not an antique, < 10 yrs old) shoulder straps attach under the tube. But these shoulder straps have "load lifter" auxiliary straps which lift them off my shoulders, which none of your pictured packs have; thus my shoulder-strap attachment point may be lower on my back, and the shoulder strap aims upward from the tube to my shoulders. I'm thinking that if the tube is above the shoulder, then you might want to attach the strap above the tube, and v.v., so that in all cases the strap is pulled "towards" the tube rather than away from it.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 10009 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 5:42 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Per the phone conversation I had with Kelty, all of their replacement shoulder straps have the "load lifter" strap attached.
Not really sure what it is, though.
He said I could adapt it, or simply cut it off if I didn't want to use it.

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Conrad
Meadow bagger



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 2280 | TRs
Location: Moscow, ID
Conrad
  Top

Meadow bagger
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 5:49 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The load lifter strap stretches from a point on the upper front of the shoulder strap (about upper-chest) to a point higher on the frame behind you, so that if you tighten it, it lifts the shoulder strap off your shoulder.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 10009 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 5:51 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
ahhh.... I think I get it.
well, we'll find out when they arrive from Kelty.

so..... what's carrying the weight? hip belt? that would be a killer for me.

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Conrad
Meadow bagger



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 2280 | TRs
Location: Moscow, ID
Conrad
  Top

Meadow bagger
PostSun Aug 24, 2014 6:24 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yes, the belt. The usual advice for heavy packs is to put as much weight as possible on your hips, not your shoulders. I forget all the reasons at the moment, but I imagine reducing back strain is a big one.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
wolffie
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 2660 | TRs
Location: Seattle
wolffie
  Top

Member
PostMon Aug 25, 2014 2:59 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Those old frame packs were made before "load lifter" and sternum straps were invented (I remember improvising my own sternum strap).
Seems worth experimenting with retrofits.
I sure wish I could get a modern internal-frame pack with those side pockets (perhaps detachable, or with ski sleeves) -- with horizontal zippers, so you still have a pocket when the zipper blows out.  I think the convenience and orgaznization is worth a bit of weight.
Yes, I know, I should get a custom McHale pack...
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 10009 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostThu Aug 28, 2014 1:05 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
After a couple lengthy phone conversations with Sam E. at Kelty (800 535 3589), it appears the young man I spoke with last week was either confused or didn't understand my questions clearly.

This is what Sam told me after checking a couple Kelty external frame packs fresh off the assembly line:

The shoulder straps are attached below the horizontal tube, with the clevis pin going up through the grommet in the shoulder strap, then through the horizontal tube, with the clip ring at the top.

Current model Kelty external frame packs have either three or four holes drilled through the horizontal tube for attachment of the top end of the shoulder strap. On models with three holes, the shoulder strap is attached at the factory to the center hole. On models with four holes the shoulder strap is attached at the factory to the second hole from the inboard side.

I have ordered two pairs of shoulder straps from Kelty, which should arrive via FedEx in a few days. Shoulder straps were $15/pair x 2 = $30 + $10 shipping + $3.40 tax for a total of $43.40.
I probably could have had Karen (Ardesson's Shoe Repair) fabricate them for less, but I wanted to expedite this process.

I will post photos after I receive them and have them attached to the packs in the proper manner.

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 10009 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostFri Aug 29, 2014 12:58 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Got a phone call this morning from Sam at Kelty. Seems they're all out of shoulder straps and won't have any more until they arrive from their offshore supplier. (Who knew?)
Looks like I'll be having Karen put together a couple pairs for me. It might take a bit longer, but then there's nothing quite like "custom".
(My sister has a fancy-schmantzy embroidery machine... maybe I should have them decorated too.)

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
RodF
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 2493 | TRs
Location: Sequim WA
RodF
  Top

Member
PostFri Aug 29, 2014 2:27 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski wrote:
This pack has seen 45 years of heavy use and abuse (85+ pound loads on many occasions) and has served me well.

Ski, it may be time to consider a new pack, and I have just the one for you: a brand new Kelty Cache Hauler 5000.  I picked it up at a local yard sale for $10.  Be forewarned it weighs just over 8 pounds empty, but is rated for loads up to 200 pounds.  Kelty still builds the frame, with a smaller 3400 packbag.  This one has the (now discontinued) larger integral full-length, 2 compartment (dividable into 3 compartment) packbag, which saves a pound.  Top pocket with map case, no side pockets or rain cover.  It was the largest, heaviest-duty pack Kelty ever built!  Yours for the asking.

--------------
"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 10009 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostFri Aug 29, 2014 3:07 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
hmmm..... sounds interesting.

the reason I unloaded that big Kelty (above, in the first two images) was because I didn't like the single-compartment bag and the full-front zipper.
yours is split? upper/lower compartments?
that's one of the things I really like about mine: clothes and stuff in the lower compartment, gear in the upper compartment, separate access into both (so I can pull out a different shirt without unloading the whole damn pack.

I should get up there and take a look!

looking at the 10-day forecast I'll probably head up again toward the end of next week. have to deliver a couple pies to Randy first, though.

bk

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
RodF
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 2493 | TRs
Location: Sequim WA
RodF
  Top

Member
PostFri Aug 29, 2014 4:35 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski wrote:
yours is split? upper/lower compartments?

yes (and the lower compartment can be partitioned into two).

this pack is almost absurdly large for summer use, and would easily handle full winter gear.

--------------
"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Gear Talk > Question about External Frame Packs
  Happy Birthday trestin, Bushwa Thunderhooey, aussie1990!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy